Optics is the study of the properties and behavior of light. In this section you can learn about everything from holograms to lasers and lenses.

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How Laser Communication Works

When speed is everything and light marks the universe's speed limit, lasers are bound to be the answer. At least, that's what NASA and a bunch of Wall Street types are betting on.


Is there a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun?

Is there a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun?

A synchrotron can produce light that can be used to "read" ancient texts that have been badly damaged. Find out what a synchrotron is and how it is used. See more »

Is it possible to make a cloaking device?

Is it possible to make a cloaking device?

Cloaking technology can achieve invisibility by bending light waves around an object. Find out how a cloaking device works and learn about cloaking technology limitations. See more »

How Holograms Work

How Holograms Work

Holograms are 3-D images that have been projected and captured on a 2-D surface. Find out how holograms work and see how a hologram is produced. See more »

Invisibility Cloak For Real This Time?

Invisibility Cloak For Real This Time?

We first reported on the possibility of an invisibility cloak last year. Now a different invisibility cloak is making the news -- one that uses metamaterials to redirect light away from the wearer. See more »

How Invisibility Cloaks Work

How Invisibility Cloaks Work

With optical-camouflage technology, the invisibility cloak is a reality. Learn what it is. See more »

How 3-D Glasses Work

How 3-D Glasses Work

NASA’s Mars rovers are sending 3-D images to Earth, so we can see depth and texture on the surface of Mars using 3-D glasses! Check out how they work. See more »

How Mirages Work

How Mirages Work

You're driving down the road on a sunny day, and you see a puddle of water coming up. You look again and it's gone! What happened? Learn what causes different kinds of mirages. See more »

How Light Microscopes Work

How Light Microscopes Work

The human eye misses a lot -- enter the incredible world of the microscopic! Explore how a light microscope works. See more »

How Telescopes Work

How Telescopes Work

A telescope can be as simple as a $100 amateur scope or as complicated as the Hubble space telescope. Learn how telescopes work and what to consider if you are thinking about buying one. See more »

How do one-way mirrors work?

One-way mirrors are commonly used in police interrogation rooms, but how do they work? Learn about one-way mirrors and how one-way mirrors work. See more »